Monday, February 11, 2013
Students gain valuable experience, skills during summer internships
By Carin Inglis, media relations intern
In this day and age, most college students are expected to graduate with one or two internships under their belt. What some students don’t realize is that the summer months are a great way to accomplish this.
Internships are an opportunity for students to “test drive” different areas of work and figure out their true interests. They are also a great way for students to gain real world work experience and build a solid foundation of professional skills. Generally, employers prefer to hire people with previous hands-on work experience, according to Valerie Palmer-Mehta, internship director for the communication program.
“Internships allow students to complement and hone their current studies by applying what they are learning in our classrooms in the workplace environment,” said Palmer-Mehta. “Oftentimes students become even more serious about their studies after completing an internship, because they witness first-hand how competitive the marketplace is currently.”
Oakland University students are required to take a capstone course as a general education requirement. For some majors, such as communication and human resource development, an internship or internship course can fulfill this requirement.
Classes such as COM: 491 allow students to work as unpaid interns, but gain four credits for their work. Interns are required to work at least 150 hours in a 15 week period. They must attend three class sessions and complete 3 papers.
This is a great option for students because it contributes to degree completion and also provides preparation for careers after graduation. Students are encouraged to meet with their adviser to talk about degree requirements and capstone options.
The Career Services Center, located in North Foundation Hall, has many resources to help students find and prepare for internships. Students can make appointments for mock interviews or to have their resume and cover letter reviewed.
The center also hosts events, such as the the Internship Mixer on Tuesday, Feb. 12. For more information about events and services, visit oakland.edu/careerservices
Students are also advised to visit oucareerlink.com
to find and apply for available jobs and internships. To set up an appointment with Career Services, contact (248) 370-3250.